Steelers have five prime-time dates
last year and asked them if they’d be willing to play on Christmas Day at home, even after playing on Thanksgiving in Indianapolis. They said they would, and the NFL showed their gratitude by putting them in Houston Christmas Day next season.
The rest of their schedule, announced by the NFL Thursday night, is a good mix that features five consecutive 1 p.m. games to open the season and then four prime-time games in a row near the end.
The Steelers, who often have played at Cleveland near the end of the season, open and close against the Browns — at Cleveland Sept. 10 and at home in the season finale New Year’s Eve.
Three of their first seven games are against their AFC North division opponents, and their off week comes smack in the middle of the season, in the ninth week.
Besides Christmas Day, they play two other games that aren’t on Sunday — Thursday at home Nov. 15 against Tennessee and Monday at Cincinnati Dec. 4.